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Activists Seize Illegal Teak!!

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  Activists Seize Illegal Teak!
  Defend Burma's People and Rainforests
  By: Rick Spencer
  On July 12, activists representing Rainforest Relief and EarthCulture
  entered Scan Designs in Bethesda, MD and announced they were reclaiming
  stolen teak imports. Tim Keating, Rainforest Relief's Executive Director
  told the manager, "We are seizing this furniture to return to the Karen
  people of Burma. This wood was cut using slave labor." As the manager
  called the police, the activists made their way out with two teak tables.
  The furniture was taken outside at which time, Tim locked both of the front
  doors with a krytonite bike lock and locked himself by the neck to them. A
  group of about 15 other protesters, including several Burmese students then
  unfurled a 20 foot banner which read, "Teak is Torture for Burma's People
  and Forests."
  The action grabbed the attention of 2 Asian radio networks and a local ABC
  television affiliate. It was part of Rainforest Relief's Teak Week of
  Action which saw demonstrations and direct actions in several US cities.
  In an hour, fire fighters had unscrewed the door handles, and Tim was taken
  to jail. Tim was charged with a $1,000 fine from the fire department for
  blocking the entrance, and $1,500 for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
  The latter two may be dropped or reduced, but the $1,000 fine is likely to
  stick. If you can help out with a donation for Tim's legal troubles, I'm
  sure he would be extremely appreciative.
  Burma is the source of the majority of internationally traded teak.  A
  military coup in Burma in 1962 began a reign of terror and oppression that
  continues today. In 1988, the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration
  Council) gunned down thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in a massive
  protest. Continued protests brought about general elections. Though the
  SLORC only received 2% of the vote, they refused to yield power. The SLORC
  generals use forced labor, rape, torture, forced relocation and
  intimidation to control the people of Burma. Cases of forced labor have
  been documented by the SLORC in logging operations.
  Burma is home to the world's last primary teak forests and some of the last
  ancient rainforests remaining in mainland Asia, but are now being
  liquidated to fund the SLORC's rule. These forests are home to rare species
  such as the Asian Rhino, Asian Elephant and others. In the US, teak is used
  for indoor and outdoor furniture, interior trim, boat trim & decking and
  small consumer items like spice racks, salad bowls and napkin holders.
  For more information on the teak/Burma situation contact Rainforest Relief
  at: relief@igc.apc.org or EarthCulture at: earthcul@nr.infi.net
  PO Box 4674
  Greensboro, NC 27404
  Phone & Fax: 910-854-2957
  e-mail: earthcul@nr.infi.net
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  STOP THE TROPICAL CHOP!      Use sustainable or recycled wood products-
  or simply reduce your wood consumption.
  Rainforests are the home to 50% of the world's species & 50,000 indigenous
  peoples. By boycotting rainforest woods- like mahogany, teak, lauan, &
  you can help save our most important ecosystems!
  We need action in your area!!
  Contact us for our FREE Rainforest Woods/ Wood Reduction Action Pack!